Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is out soon and after playing it over the past few days, I'm excited to finally share details about what to expect from the brand new bonus game which may just put Godzilla and Kong to shame.
Bowser's Fury has you play as Mario within a somewhat large open game world that consists of intricate themed islands which gradually emerge as you progress. The point of the game is to collect Cat Shines which are scattered across the islands and behave similarly to Super Mario 64's Power Stars in that they're obtained by completing fun objectives and finding them in tricky locations. This open-ended approach to its campaign makes Bowser's Fury a surprising change of pace although the traditional 3D platforming gameplay remains fully intact. One big difference is that falling from high up results in you plunging into the waters below instead of losing a life and it can be rather frustrating climbing your way back whenever this happens. Other than that, it's an excellent formula that works wonderfully.
Bowser Jr. co-op
It may sound like Mario goes it alone in Bowser's Fury but he's actually joined by Bowser Jr. in his classic bite-sized hovering clown car. He's either controlled by a second player via local co-op multiplayer or automatically with a couple of settings which makes him either help out a lot or just a little. To be frank, playing cooperatively is a bit uninvolving for whoever controls Bowser Jr. since all they can do is float around, ascend, and attack which makes him an ideal character for a child to control as you play as Mario. Anyway, Bowser Jr. can also reveal hidden drawings with his magic paintbrush to uncover cool secrets so exploring with a keen eye can result in nifty rewards.
Giga Cat Mario vs. Fury Bowser
I already discussed collecting Cat Shines but what's the point? Upon gathering certain thresholds of them, you can acquire a Giga Bell to transform into Giga Cat Mario and take on Fury Bowser in an epic battle. Before that, Fury Bowser occasionally terrorizes you on your quest to gather Cat Shines by raining fireballs and obtrusive columns down. You can tell he's about to do this when a thunder storm breaks out and thankfully, it takes quite some time before Fury Bowser gets the gumption to unleash his wrath so casually exploring is still feasible. Once you fight Fury Bowser; well, you'll just have to wait for my full review to learn more about these kaiju-like battles.
As you collect extra power-ups in Bowser's Fury, they get placed in a handy inventory menu so if you ever get hurt and want to deploy a Super Bell, Super Mushroom, Boomerang Flower, Fire Flower, or Super Leaf; you can simply tap up on the D-pad and choose whichever power-up you want. I know what you're thinking; what does this have to do with amiibo? If you hold left on the D-pad, you can tap an amiibo on your controller's NFC spot to receive free power-ups. Plus, you may just get a few surprises... (ahem, Bowser amiibo...)
Pressing down on the D-pad lets you enter Snapshot Mode so you can take fun photos of your Cat Shine-collecting and Bowser-bashing adventure. Doing so allows you to freely move, rotate, tilt, and zoom the camera as well as apply cool filters like one that makes everything look like it's from a Manga. The neatest feature of photo mode is that you can place unlocked stamps all over the stage which I imagine will result in plenty of hilarious social media posts. I don't think I've ever seen a photo mode this fully-featured before.
That's about all I have to say about Bowser's Fury so far. Are you excited to try out this new mini-adventure? Let's chat below!